- The power forward of the New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, has returned to court, appearing fitter than ever.
- Shaquille O’Neal, however, is sceptical about Williamson being able to retain his dominance owing to his weight loss.
- He has attracted comparisons to Michael Jordan throughout his career, and maybe—maybe—he can accomplish what only MJ was able to.
Prior to the 2022 season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson appeared more physically fit and slender. He has struggled to remain healthy for most of his career, and many have pinned this on his weight.
The former Duke player put much effort into getting in shape this offseason, and the results now seem to speak for themselves. Rarely do players who are compared to NBA greats, viz. LeBron James and Michael Jordan truly develop into players that resemble them. How often have we heard a player referred to as “the next LeBron” or “the next MJ”? Despite this, we don’t see players living up to them.
Boban Marjanovic, a European player several inches taller than Zion Williamson, was the second-heaviest player in the NBA before he underwent a physical change.
In “The Big Podcast with Shaq” this week, Shaquille O’Neal discussed Zion’s physical metamorphosis and said that even if Williamson has shed weight, greatness isn’t definite. He even went so far as to give the rising star some advice.
“When I start losing weight and getting thin, I would get injured more from contact, but when I was big and looked out of shape, I was in charge,” remarked the ex-NBA superstar.
He said that when he was considered overweight, he was running people over and getting fouled by other players, but he didn’t seem to mind.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ power forward has consistently shone like a diamond. His brilliant grin completes the transaction. However, his explosive gameplay has given games a “shock and awe” quality more than his personality or charisma.
He has attracted comparisons to Michael Jordan throughout his career, and maybe—maybe—he can accomplish what only MJ was able to.
Most points per minute of all-time (minimum 50 games):— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 13, 2022
.83 — Joel Embiid
.81 — Zion Williamson
.79 — Michael Jordan
.78 — George Gervin
.78 — Luka Doncic pic.twitter.com/OMC2SQhV6M
Will Zion succeed in averaging 37 points per game like Michael Jordon? It might be too much to ask for. But if anyone could pull off such a titanic leap, it would be Zion Williamson. Before getting hurt, he did score close to 30 points a game. The fortunate timing of his injuries also matches that of the legendary Bulls player, Michael Jordan.
The paths taken by MJ and Zion are remarkably similar. Excellent first two seasons, a third season that was delayed by injuries, and a fourth season rife with goals. Jordan scored an absurd 37 points a game from 1986 to 1987! His most productive period of any season.